William Stewart Rose - Encyclopedia

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WILLIAM STEWART ROSE (1775-1843), English poet and translator, second son of George Rose, was born in 1775. He was educated at Eton College, and in 1796 was returned to parliament for the borough of Christchurch. In 1800 he accepted the Chiltern Hundreds on his appointment as reading clerk of the House of Lords and clerk of the private committees. His first work, A Naval History of the Late War, was undertaken at his father's wish, but he only completed one volume. He produced a free version of the Amadis de Gaul from the French text of Herberay des Essarts in 1803, followed by a translation of the Partenopex de Blois (1807) after Le Grand d'Aussy. With Partenopex he printed his ballad of "The Red King," and in 1810 appeared The Crusade of King Louis and King Edward the Martyr. In 181 4 he made a prolonged journey through Italy and eastern Europe, spending the year 1817 at Venice, where he married a Venetian lady. The Court and Parliament of Bees, a translation of the Animali Parlanti of Casti, and Letters from the North of Italy, addressed to Henry Hallam, Esq., appeared in 1819. In the same year the publisher Murray offered him £2000 for a translation of Ariosto (T. Moore, Diary, 14th of April 1819). He had already written an abridged version of Berni's rifacimento of the Orlando Inamorato of Boiardo, and had begun his Orlando Furioso translated into English Verse which appeared in two parts in 1823 and 1831. This, which has become the standard English version, is a close rendering in the ottava rima of the original. Rose retired from his official position in 1824. He suffered from paralysis in his later years, and at Abbotsford, where he was an honoured guest, rooms were specially fitted up on the ground floor for his use. His last works were An Epistle to the Right Honourable John Hookham Frere (1834), in verse, and a volume of Rhymes (1837) (see Quarterly Review, July 1836 and April 1837). He died on the 30th of April 1843.

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